eBay attempted to ease holiday tensions this year by helping shoppers stop second-guessing their gift selections by showing them how they really felt.
— Celeny Da Silva (@CelenyDaSilva) November 30, 2016
The e-commerce company opened up a two-day pop-up shop from November 30 to December 1 in London that used shoppers’ facial reactions to make gift recommendations. US-based Lightwave, whose CEO Rana June attended the opening, provided the bioanalytic technology and coding software that enabled eBay to analyze customers’ reactions to different products.
After walking into one of the biometric pods, 12 different gift ideas were presented to customers and their facial movements, such as smiles or frowns, were recorded. Gift options were then viewed a second time, again with facial reactions being recorded. An email was then sent to customers with product recommendations, as well as the products they did not react well to.
The pop-up shop comes as an effort to make holiday shopping less stressful, following a study that the two companies conducted. Their research found that not only do customers hit a wall after approximately 32 minutes of holiday shopping, but that the average customer’s heart-rate increased by 33% while shopping for presents.
To further counteract the mania surrounding holiday shopping, eBay designed the space to be dimly lit (with neon accents) and with minimal added sound, recalling the Selfridges #NoNoise London concept shop in 2013. The physical shop experience also included a large tapestry that showed infographics with real-time responses from shoppers about the featured items.
eBay is also looking to give back this holiday season—a small portion of proceeds from items purchased at the pop-up shop were donated through eBay’s charity program, which includes nonprofits across a variety of causes. While the pop-up is no longer open, shoppers can still donate to charities through eBay’s Gifts That Give Back Program.